Episode 3: Why WordPress?

Uncategorized May 10, 2016

In a previous episode, I had made reference to WordPress in the range of topics we’ll discuss on this show. In this episode, I’ll take a little time to explore what WordPress is (for those who aren’t familiar with it) as well as why I’ve personally decided to design and develop exclusively on the platform.

First, however, let’s nail down what WordPress is. The WordPress.org site says it best:

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your recipe site to a Fortune 500 web sitewithout paying anyone a license fee and a number of other important freedoms.

And here’s a brief history:

WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPLv2 (or later). It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope by focusing on user experience and web standards we can create a tool different from anything else out there.

For a bit more about WordPress’ history check out the WordPress Wikipedia page or this page on our own Codex.

Now that we’ve touched briefly on what WordPress is, why should you use it?

  1. It’s free
  2. It has a ton of themes and styles from which to choose
  3. It’s incredibly customizable
  4. It’s writer-friendly
  5. Support is a dime-a-dozen
Here’s some places where you can find WordPress themes:
Some useful plugins:
  • BackupWordPress: Create your own scheduled backups of your WordPress website.
  • Auto Post Thumbnail: Automatically create a thumbnail or “feature image” of your post’s first image.
  • WordPress Editorial Calendar: View your posts in a calendar format with the ability to drag and drop to reschedule and rearrange them.
  • CoSchedule: a paid social and post calendar plugin.*

Further reading: 5 Reasons Why WordPress Is a Writer’s Best Friend (not just for Writers!)

*This is an affiliate link.

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